The NY Times reports that a Friend Says Trump Is Considering Firing Mueller as Special Counsel.
But the veracity of the “friend” is not clear.
WASHINGTON — A longtime friend of President Trump said on Monday that Mr. Trump was considering whether to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials.
The startling assertion comes as some of Mr. Trump’s conservative allies, who initially praised Mr. Mueller’s selection as special counsel, have begun trying to attack his credibility.
The friend, Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, who was at the White House on Monday, said on PBS’s “NewsHour” that Mr. Trump was “considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel.”
“I think he’s weighing that option,” Mr. Ruddy said.
His comments appeared to take the White House by surprise.
That should not be surprising. Trump does and says all kinds of things that surprising his underlings (such as Spicey and the courtiers that make up the
cabinet royal court). More on our unconstitutional monarchy below.
Here is why we should doubt Ruddy’s claim.
“Mr. Ruddy never spoke to the president regarding this issue,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement hours later. “With respect to this subject, only the president or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”
Allies of the president cast doubt on the idea that Mr. Trump would take such a drastic step, and White House officials said Mr. Ruddy had not met directly with the president while he was there.
On the other hand, here is why we should take Ruddy’s claim seriously: the right wingers are already out for Mueller and have started a campaign to smear him.
The idea that the investigation is illegitimate and politically motivated has been gaining currency on the political right for months. Conservative writers, radio hosts and cable personalities — emboldened by the president himself, who has called it a witch hunt — have repeatedly sought to discredit the inquiry, its investigators, the mainstream news accounts of it, and the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are demanding more answers.
Congressional Dems are pushing back but if Trump does fire Mueller the Dems may not have the numbers to counter Trump’s move.
Democrats accused Republicans on Monday of beginning a campaign to smear Mr. Mueller’s reputation as he engages in a broad investigation that could include whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by pressuring Mr. Comey to end parts of the inquiry and then by firing him.
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, scoffed at the idea that the president might fire Mr. Mueller.
“If President fired Bob Mueller, Congress would immediately re-establish independent counsel and appoint Bob Mueller,” Mr. Schiff said in a tweet. “Don’t waste our time.”
The independent counsel statute, passed after Watergate, allowed the appointment of a prosecutor who would look into high-level executive branch wrongdoing and answer to a panel of judges, and who could not be fired by the president, as Mr. Nixon sought to do.
Both Republicans and Democrats came to dislike the statute, which they saw as permitting prosecutors to run amok in the Iran-contra and Whitewater investigations during the Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton administrations. Congress let it lapse when it expired in 1999.
It would take a two-thirds supermajority in both chambers of Congress to overcome Mr. Trump’s likely veto of any similar legislation. It is far from clear that Mr. Schiff’s proposal could command such support.
Remember also that Trump has a track record of firing those who threaten his self image. Sally Yates brought him bad news about Flynn - fired. “Former U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara says Trump fired him after a series of ‘uncomfortable’ calls” says the LA Times. Comey was heading an investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russians - fired. Rod Rosenstein would likely go as well as Mueller.
Under Justice Department rules, Mr. Trump would seemingly have to order Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to rescind department regulations protecting a special counsel from being fired for no good reason, and then to fire Mr. Mueller. If Mr. Rosenstein refused, Mr. Trump could fire him, too — a series of events that would recall the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Watergate, when President Richard M. Nixon sought to dismiss a special prosecutor, Archibald Cox.
King Donald and his square table
In an absolute monarchy, the king rules supreme. Wikipedia defines: “Absolute monarchy, or despotic monarchy, is a form of monarchy in which one ruler has supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs.” That’s Trump’s MO.
If Trump does fire Mueller, all semblance of the United States as a country of laws goes out the window. Who is to stop him? Apparently not this Congress. The Supreme Court - 50/50 maybe. Any of his royal court? Consider this story gone viral, an example being from politicsusa,com, Al Franken Can’t Stop Laughing At Trump’s Cabinet Saying How ‘Blessed’ They Are To Serve Him.
First, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked, “I want to ask about this relationship between Trump and his cabinet people, who he hardly knows. What did you make of the genuflections around the table this morning? … They said, ‘Thank you for the blessing … of having this position.’
Franken’s answer was priceless: “I think the people there feel very, very blessed. … If they feel blessed to be in his cabinet or to be around him, to be his chief of staff for at least another week or so, they should feel very blessed. And I feel very blessed to be here. … Blessings to you.”
Franken’s response was a welcome moment of levity hours after the bizarre cabinet meeting when each member gushed about the “honor” and “privilege” of serving this president – as if they would fall through a trap door under their chair if they didn’t.
The strangest moment during the meeting came when Reince Priebus expressed his thanks for the “blessing to serve” Trump’s agenda (video link).
You can read more about King Donald the First and his royal court at the on-line version of the Daily Star’s AP report, Who loves him more? Trump’s cabinet members gush at meeting.